Guests that choose to enjoy their holiday in one of our Koh Samui luxury villas can spend their time swinging in a hammock or taking a cool dip in their infinity pool. However, the lure of the local shops proves to be a popular attraction for many......
Here is a quick lowdown on some of the top shopping spots on Koh Samui and what you can expect to find when you visit...
Central Samui Festival
This is the largest shopping complex on Samui with the first main entrance located right in the centre of Chaweng Beach Road and backs on to the Chaweng Lake road providing the car parking entrance and second main entrance.
The vast underground parking area makes life so much simpler than wasting time going round a one way system looking for the near impossible parking space. Security is tight however and at the car park entrance you will need to produce some sort of ID at the barrier whilst a security guard checks the boot of the car. Lifts and stairs lead up to the ground and upper floors of the shopping mall.
The shopping complex has, in parts, an open open air atrium reminding you that you are still shopping in the tropics and in the centre between the two rows of shops there is a large space where various events take place regularly from fashion shows to car sales or if not in use is filled up quickly with attractive stalls selling the usual, watches, jewelry, souvenirs etc.
If you are looking for something particular then the well thought out layout of this complex of 200 shops and restaurants makes finding it easy.
The south entrance to the mall on the Chaweng Beach road is home to a number of international restaurants and beverage places spread over two floors accessed by escalators. Restaurants include, The Kitchen, The Wine Connection, The Coffee Club and not forgetting Svensons. The ever popular Starbucks spreads out on to a large open terrace - great for enjoying a coffee whilst people watching - though be it by the busy and noisy beach road!
The main shops run along the two sides of the mall and include, Camel, Jim Thompson, sports and fashion shops on the ground floor and the mobile phone shops and banks etc on the upper floors. The Central department store centres this area and here you will find well know fashion brands, accessories and for the kiddies a good choice of well known makes of quality toys and games.
The north end of the mall is home to the food court on the ground floor and a further section of small individual fashion and jewelry outlets.
Here you will find some kiddies entertainment with a playground and sandpit for the little ones and Pirates of the Marioland, an XD theatre and a cinema on the upper floor for those a ittle bit older.
Tops is a popular supermarket with the expats selling a good deal of European brand food (mostly Waitrose) and is tha last shop in the mall together with some fast food outlets. Above the supermarket you will find the beauty and massage shops as well as pharmacies.
Other Shopping in Chaweng:
Tesco Lotus and Big C
Tesco Lotus and Big C are two of the lagest supermarkets on Koh Samui located on the road from Bophut to Chaweng town before turning on to the road leading to Chaweng beach. These supermarkets form part of a a mall with boutique shops, eateries and coffee shops and are usually the first point of call for our guests who wish to do some shopping to stock up on provisions when renting a self catering villa in Koh Samui.
Chaweng Beach Road -
Wander of the beach from late morning and you will find small shops lining the 6km main road in between the hotels and bars that stay open until late. You can walk along and discover jewellery stores, fashion outlets, footwear, jewelry, tailors, art galleries and sunglass stores as well as pharmacies, tailors and massage shops.
The Iyara Shopping Plaza
This small plaza is part of the Itaya Hotel right on Chaweng Beach and the shopping is mailnly of quality fashion.
There is also a Tesco Lotus supermarket at Lamai on the main ring road further south from Chaweng. This is also forms part of a shopping mall with a number of smaller shops and eateries.
Lamai Beach Road
Here you will find other supermarkets and mini marts together with smaller food stores and a number of fashion boutiques, souvenir outlets and beachwear stores.
The Buddy Oriental PLaza
Just outside Lamai there is a small shopping complex called the Buddy Oriental Plaza, it has just a handful of shops, a restaurant, wine bar and a pub, but it’s a nice way to spend a few hours - there is a kids club there too.
The Wharf is a beachfront shopping plaza hosting over 120 units of mainly small boutique and specialty shops selling a range of both local and imported goods. The plaza is located at the west end of Fisherman's Village and has ample parking in the expansive car park off the main ring road between Bophut and Maenam. There is a good selection of eating options including cafes, restaurants, bakeries and a food court. Here you’ll be able to search out souvenirs, clothing shops and arts and crafts. The Wharf also has a spa and a watersports centre on the beach.
This is now the most popular tourist spot on Koh Samui. In the Fisherman’s Village main street you will find plenty of souvenirs, clothes stores and fashion boutiques neatly housed in the quaint authentic shop houses that was once a fishing village for the early settlers to Koh Samui. Intermingled between the shops are a number of restaurants, sports bars and chill out coffee places - many of them oceanside and with plenty of boating activity it is a wonderful place to enjoy.
The walking street market in the village is held every Friday night from 4pm until 10pm with street food prominent as well as various stalls creating a great atmpshere with the busiest time being early evening. Go earlier or later if you wish to avoid the crush or find a parking space.
Nathon is Koh Samui’s main capital and ferryport and does appear to be a ramshackle of a place but stop off and experience the Thai locals going about their daily life and explore the side streets with authentic wooden buildings still in existance. This is where the locals are more likely to do their shopping. The main road south through the town is slow going especially when the ferries arrive as it is a one way system. However turning right going back on the one way system and you will find better parking close to the ferry terminals.
Here in Nathon you will find gift stores, handicraft stores, tailors, art galleries and souvenir shops and a scattering of coffee cafes. The goods you will find here however are similar to those found on the Chaweng Beach road but at a much cheaper price - so do your souvenir shopping here! Please note however that this a working town and that the shops close by 7pm There is also a small Tesco Lotus in Nathon.
There are several Walking Street markets in Koh Samui - take a look at our Koh Samui Street Food post to find out more.